Known for his effortless freestyle ability and as a pillar of Detroit's hip hop community, rapper Proof was most familiar to fans the world over as a founding member of D-12. Born DeShaun Holton, Proof was a legendary MC in Detroit hip hop circles when he befriended the then-unknown Marshall Mathers while hosting Saturday afternoon rap battles at Maurice Malone's famed Hip Hop Shop--a role that would be fictionalized by actor Mekhi Phifer in the blockbuster film, 8 Mile.
In 1999 he was featured in the Source magazine's prestigious Unsigned Hype column for winning their Live Battle tour and a demo he had done that was produced by his friend and fellow Detroit icon Jay Dee. When Eminem signed with Dr. Dre in 1998 he brought along Proof and the rest of D-12 to share in his newfound success. Fronted by Eminem, D12 released two platinum albums, 2001's Devil's Night and 2004's D-12's World. Proof would be a constant figure in Eminem's circle, appearing in his videos, acting as his hypeman and even served as the Best Man at his 2006 wedding. Proof released a solo album, Searching For Jerry Garcia, in 2005 on his Iron Fist record label.
Proof was killed during a dispute outside a Detroit nightclub in April 2006. He was 32.